What's the best subdomain or subfolder for a forum?

What is the best subdomain or subfolder for a forum? Is it community.domain.com? domain.com/forums? Something else? What are pros and cons to using subdomains, subfolders, and particular vocabulary?

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Should be forum.domain.com

Please explain why it should be.

I’ve always used

etc. and have never had any problems with that set up.

The only potential problem I can think of is if I wanted to use a forum app that required it to be installed in the root in order to work.(which I never have wanted to use, so no problem).

This article can be useful for you. http://moz.com/blog/understanding-root-domains-subdomains-vs-subfolders-microsites

Thanks, but that article is 5 and 1/2 years old and talks about how it may have influenced SEO back then.
Nothing personal, but IMHO that reasoning is long past being relevant today, and I doubt if it even was back then.
If we’re going to talk SEO I’d much prefer to see something from Google itself rather than something from someone who may have thought they knew how Google was doing things.

Any more timely information?


Thanks @geiger that explains a lot.

So because having subdomains was used in the past to croed SERPs the big G changed the way it did things and now

“They’re roughly equivalent,” says Cutts. “I would basically go with whichever one is easier for you in terms of configuration, your CMSs, [and] all that sort of stuff.”

In my opinion… this way is better than making subdomain, also easier to manage in uncle google webmaster tools than if you create subdomain.

I’m going to answer this from a purely SEO perspective.

If you already have a high-authority site (PageRank 3 or above)*, to which you’re adding a forum, go with domain.com/forum. In theory, that should consolidate your domain’s authority.

If you’re starting from scratch, it doesn’t matter as much. Depending on your set-up, it might be easiest to go with a subdomain (forum.domain.com).

*Note that we didn’t follow our own advice for high-authority sites on SitePoint—when we moved to Discourse, back in August, it wasn’t really possible to run Discourse on a subdirectory. Our search rankings and traffic suffered as a result.

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Agreed with the SEO on domain.com/forum otherwise forums.domain.com separate SEO sties or can at least. Plus /forum keeps your URL cleaner IMO.

I’m curious, how did you achieve domain.com/community/ ?
Do you use some nginx proxy forwarders?

Thanks in advance

Hi @byulent, short answer, our process is much more complicated than that, as the forum is hosted by Discourse, but obviously utilizing a sub-folder :wink:

I’ll ping @nec286 who might be able to go into those details further, however, if you plan to host it yourself, yes, you’d use a nginx proxy forwarder as described at

If you plan on using HTTPS as well, you will want to read this topic too

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